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tv   Book Discussion on Exit Right  CSPAN  March 6, 2016 11:00pm-11:49pm EST

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everyone and that doesn't offend or put your own kind of religious values in jeopardy because what you don't want is your evangelical child saying a prayer that might sound to catholic or mormon, so these issues kind of fall apart in the policy into the legislative air out into the reagan administration. ..
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>> >> this is our flagship store we have other locations throughout the city elect to follow our reading series with a podcast and other over the years. but i am pleased to introduce daniel oppenheimer with his debut "exit right". a writer ensure a
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documentary filmmaker whose videos have been featured in "the new york times" he discusses figures such as ronald reagan and christopher hichens ed whitaker chambers trying to reconcile the lf to the right. to celebrate daniel oppenheimer is on display on this book as a political essayist and contributes an exciting per trail of the subjects in their transition and it is insightful.
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>> thank you for being here today. had to be part of the book i also say hi to children i do not know i would be on tv. that what we would call the genealogy of the book. of howe comes into existence
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with the back story but in this case and what it is try to do. other then in the acknowledgments but to set up some of that discussion and with that conclusion of that benefit that some people think has done.
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in the communist party members. but isn't that comment. common and and the world in which my mom grew up in with passover and with the questions of the activities from those members of the party. and for some reason to
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bureaucratic issues. a number of school teachers were fired. but more broadly a fairly artistic part that was a noble thing to be an end to go through -- to this event. and the legacy hasn't been
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examined very much but with that left-wing household even though there were not necessarily identified for a while it was of a pretty simple narrative. it started to become more complicated. with those testimonials from survivors. what i notice repeatedly was people saying if they were liberated to said that was
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in the end of the story with the imminent danger there was whole other story that i started to learn about the horrific evils of what it meant to have this legacy of communist party membership with those battles with those labor unions to get involved with the student active coalition.
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but i do remember this relatively early in to attack one of the plant's coming from university administration and to the workers were fired to have this argument where he said with dehydrogenated me to paddies with wilted lettuce and tomatoes in a way? set to go and throw this way when i really like mcdonald's burgers.
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but there were those on the left so was the mundane growing up is does hagel although wages in which more and more pressing as the need for me to understand
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lou the editor wrote every wanted to write and i had written three articles before even notice to end at the time i was thinking of writing a whole other book of the subculture and somebody pointed out to me of the cover story of david horowitz who was '03 stena communist party family as an activist than intellectual of the new left and had a real falling out that was killed by the black panthers and totally devastated in
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with that broader phenomenon may be not literally the minute but looking back 10 years what it feels like a minute that is said to me it seemed like a good idea with all sorts of things. to say this makes a lot of sense. in so i have this idea i
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wrote up a proposal the last chapter of the book and i sold this book proposal and i signed the contract in 2006 and i said to my agents it will be three years for years. but we both know that. so i've lot list 2008 then i had kids and i got a job and i realized how hard it could be then finally so at the space the levels roughly
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chronological of 2010. and then boarded an april fool's day 1901. a communist writer in the late twenties and early '30's with a number of spy rings to have a real crisis to come out on the exercise and worked on the magazine but then he rode about his journey in the national radio -- review.
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with that the next one was raised in a very affluent family in the suburb of chicago to go over to a scholarship in thought but in that sense that that is most important and meaningful.
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but then to talk about that literature than to hit them in the head but also found itself but they actually didn't seem and then ended up in what i was drawn up to into become a leader in the
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small group of writers and activists to end around about the same time on the basic orthodoxies but also with whitaker chambers with a lot of left-wing questions to learn more and more. with their commitment to that. and with that thomas read bin type of books and then from the '40's and 50's to become a conservative and
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with that cold war thinking and policies. and then i had no idea to be anything other then pay conservative. of a solid liberal democrat. and with reagan this health during the depression with his charismatic father figure during a time of crisis. and we really start to move to the right until the end
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of the '40's and then let that increasing familiarity with anti-communism and before that midway '40's and then after the film career stalled to be a tv show. it was the time that is probably one of the most comprehensive of a political campaigns and dedicated to
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finding those ideas of the new deal to believe that ideology that they put out there that process to be surrounded played a key role. with that intellectual the '50s as the editor of commentary magazine that early it was the solid it in time left magazine and thought of himself as someone who was radical than to the end of the '60s for a
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variety of reasons to move to the right to but he wrote a memoir making it about his own desire any imagine this would establish himself and then put them on par with his good friend norman mailer. and via critics it ultimately norman mailer and after that it fell apart for a few years away into a deep depression in didn't move as
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far as the ultimate would in a way that is even more dramatic to be overly enthusiastic. >> can finally somebody that i have a more personal connection i asked my father for a subscription to "time" magazine with is basically centrist magazine.
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and i was just blown away. so with that exhilaration was is enormously exciting and liberating and then started to move to the right and then after 9/11 into the iraq war. and then to move to the left that was difficult for me. at the people in the room have stories that i never met them in person and.
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so i just want to read and give a sense and then to have something from the very end of the book. so i am talking about the notion that i have what kind of perspective one needs to have that they find most exciting and interesting and then to go further with that characterization of what looks like to have the political beliefs the track
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or rather the basic part of living is grounded in a strong sense of self with those enter frictions to be passionate in one's convictions of that data of the experience to except there is no end to that uncertainty into step toward with as much courage and creativity you can muster that is simply won't do the trick anymore. it is of the point of this book to make a case to beyond the right job of left end the six men have their own opinion that maybe it is with that they are pretty -- approaching with interest because the death of humanity only with what is
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in to run away and deny its existence at the lowe's terrifyingly fundamental level and then to and upon the far side of their encounters. requires risk to take an enormous gamble of food you were to find a new identity on the other side. you a a lead they friends and co-workers and to live your life with a haunting fear that you gave them all up and the payoff if there is one. it is almost bitter tasting. team by paying close attention to ask ourselves the right or wrong as far as they could possibly go
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perhaps this would enable us from our own lives to be more bold at the same time. thank you. i am happy to take any questions. [applause] >> first of all, the talk about moving from the alleged to the rate to it would is similar to that it
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seems like you're the perfect person to talk about this. in with that tendency from the same as people to move from the right to the left. and another one i said you are the perfect person. >> the first question, for
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those who go from right to left and looking demographically looking at the numbers are shifting all the time and in recent years and then with those intellectuals for those interested from andrew sullivan and others moving in reaction of the bush administration in how poorly they went. in with those stories that i like to tell in reaction
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been moving to one side or the other, the descendants so there is the big left to right to movement of mine comes after the 30's with the response and then in reaction to the '60s with black power and gay-rights. in what that movement of the right wing access id of reaction to that. and to have the ideological passion syllables passions.
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because coming from the left, that journey is more interesting and i think historically the intellectuals that have been flushed out or left wing that is more significant the and the reverse. but that is from what the left or the right has. i don't have a lot insightful to say about bernie sanders but the only thing i will say about donald trump recently has been all over the place the talk about bernie sanders there is different kinds of appeal in different kinds of political actors.
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in with that consistency and commitment over time. then at with the people that i write about like donald trump with his change ability with that promise of disruption. it really isn't so much insight with that appeal that political actors offer. what is interesting about reagan is i have heard things about that. is interesting to hear that. >> we lived and worked in russia and there was the
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member that fell apart it to a couple of years to be orthodox in the orthodox church. so if there is a personality trait you can have one that is all encompassing isn't people need to have that. but that orientation just with that language is more of the desire with that ischemia to give meaning. give all the lower i would differ is that would be careful to say almost
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doesn't matter what the system is. because i think that identification as ideological types kin dismiss their politics and that is said danger we should resist. for the people in this book and their attachment to the various left-wing systems that the universe is a belief and we're very profound moving away from that isn't something that they have done lately. either for somebody like ronald reagan who did not experience acute pain and it took a good 15 years to make it there to space out that
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transition so he didn't have to experience that acute pain. but it is a taipei and i was talking about this the other day, i am the opposite type in a sense a comment in the present and that is why the book is the way it is it could be frustrating for others but with this system that they think our breeding is powerful enough with all the data and the messiness and i get allergic to which. it can be incredibly frustrating but part of the interest of the book to see what is interesting and compelling about them.
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>> there is a wonderful little book to talk about disillusionment as an influence from a couple of months ago. what about nancy stagg on ronald reagan? the with the late forties or early fifties is with that
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disillusionment it is right up there with that darkness at noon it whitaker chambers witness but it is a great book absolutely. it is in their. in the introduction it doesn't have a quotation itself but it does from a writer and his essay about the ex-communist is a part of that of the communist writers. then to the question then hw brands roche about this the was that the texas book festival. but the question when ronald reagan buried nancy, i did see a direct evidence he fell under the sway of her father but there was no question that varying nancy
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was part of a larger process moving into a social world that was more conservative with politics has been influenced and made that transition much easier. it probably occurred to him he was more conservative than liberal it didn't have to face that question in as he was hanging with people who were pretty conservative. >> a couple of thoughts. as their real white male and not mama not mount -- phenomenon. and i am just saying the
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pros and cons. and i just think it is about to use full idealism. whether we're talking your father or uncles or those who were in new york and the 30's it may not have been as much. >> was just doing some research the other day of that broad demographic question not my area of expertise but talk about how productive the politics were in what they found was if you didn't grow up in a political household it is
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not a predictor but if you did then 80 percent chance you are broadly of that same persuasion and those to be in exactly the same in fireman's and you may see exactly the same flaws of those orthodoxies of the left and that peace may be we need to let go of a member of a socialist party absolutely. that is a common experience i was more interested in the extreme one because that much bigger transition allows it to explore a and reveal that complicated belief.
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you don't see the debt so that as much with that explosion of their lives that is about a male phenomenon but the only defense for myself it is of little bit of an issue for me a look at people to remind me of myself. like my father and grandfather event christopher hichens in those who look like my father is and grandfather.
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but of that feels more of of mail phenomenon that to us -- statistically i don't know. for those that have been experiencing trauma and not to make such a severe break. internet upside-down. and what i said at the beginning to write a book about the history of psychology and with that
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deep as part with that psychology of those people at the same time and you were not necessarily suggesting this but the effort with the effort there is nothing else of who we are of our weaknesses in interferes and it'll say that to dismiss our beliefs was there something in common? in to that extent and politics is absolutely
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abetted with the core of their identity. with me be rated as the exception to be drawn to that fully developed system of ideas. when this started to break down and had a harder time to adjust a little bit to be in the machinery of this complicated system. and i think they were people who needed to believe in and the leaf passionately to the extent that most of us experience and it wasn't
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appealing to be social democrats. one of the things that they shared for fifth --. >> with that background realistic. that this would beef pie in the right to some extent? >> i say it depends on the person with those temperaments the best example is whitaker chambers to live of fuller and more richer life on the right did
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to status as a secular person did to have more space and then there is other examples in those counter examples in david horowitz to this day one of those that is a life is so profoundly in greek about this but he blames on the left it himself. if you talk to him for five minutes it depends on the person at least does the
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writer to be much more interesting but that depends. thank you so much. i am happy to sign books for pro claim not too hard to find >> watching those nonfiction authors and on c-span they can have a long your conversation. >> it brings author after
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author. >> >> teddy roosevelt first was fairly subdued to come to a town called barstow so he enjoyed the welcome and then coming through to the pacific ocean in the end that really understands

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